A Popularity Contest?


August 7, 2010 by DJ Elroy

Every year when the polls open and the mud starts flying on the message boards there are always those outspoken critics of the Top 100 decrying it as simply being a popularity contest and a waste of time.

Sure it’s a popularity contest. But so what?

Isn’t music subjective? And isn’t the very point of these type of polls to find out who in the scene is the most popular? Who’s hot? Who is most appealing to the masses?

Maybe the naysayers believe the least popular artist should win? Maybe the only good electronic dance music is the “underground” stuff and everyone else has “sold out”?

Bottom line: it’s about how many people like a particular artist, regardless of the reasons they cast their votes. Sure, years past have seen some pretty cheesy jocks at the Top of the list, but anyone who has been around knows that the more underground the music is, by definition the less people know about it. Previous winners may not be the most skilled – I’m looking at you, Tiesto – but their ability to market themselves and connect with fans helps to get them to the top of the heap.

Maybe it’s this fact that that upsets folks. Shouldn’t the winners in a music poll win based on their music and not their marketability? Maybe. But the modern music industry isn’t just “about the music” anymore, it’s about everything — and this includes networking and marketing. Ain’t no shame in the game, yo.

I guess I just don’t understand why so many people complain about this being a popularity contest. I suppose you could rank each and every artist in terms of mixing skill, production value, ability to pick winning music, programming, technical skill, stage presence, marketing & promotion, fan interaction, personality, etc. DJs require all these skills and more (on some level) to make it.

Sure, you could do that. But doesn’t it take the fun out of it?

Hell, my picks aren’t the best in all these categories. But they are my favorites. They inspire me and their music is fun.

And isn’t that enough?

2 thoughts on “A Popularity Contest?

  1. […] annoyance) than a reliable barometer about who’s hot in electronic music. Yes, it’s a popularity contest. But so […]

  2. […] annoyance) than a reliable barometer about who’s hot in electronic music. Yes, it’s a popularity contest. But so […]

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